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Full text of "The History Of Western Education"

3o         HISTORY OF WESTERN EDUCATION

to show more weakness than is natural to her sex " and " not to
be talked about for good or for evil among men," he makes no
reference whatever to intellectual education. The aim of a
woman's education is the intelligent mastery of her domestic
duties. His views are set forth in the form of a conversation
between Socrates and a newly-married Athenian husband* The
wife of this man had been brought up in complete seclusion, as
was still the custom even in Athens, but the laxity which affected
everything in the last days of the Fifth Century had seemingly
led to some neglect of her domestic training, and it fell to her
husband to remedy the defect. His education of her consists
in making her understand the meaning of her duties. That is
to say, she is made good, as Xenophon understands the term,
by getting an intelligent insight into her own special work.

The difference between Xenophon and Socrates is oven more
marked when he comes to discuss the education of boys in the
Cyrop&dia. The Cyropadia was a political romance written
by him about half a century after the death of Socrates. Osten-
sibly a biography of King Cyrus of Persia, it is really a veiled
statement of his own opinions about government. What he
pretends to give as an account of Persian education is simply an
ideal scheme for the reform of Athenian education. Though an
Athenian himself, he had for many years been a mercenary in
the service of Spartan commanders. After his exile from Athens
in 399 B.C., the year of Socrates' death, he had lived on Spartan
territory, had adopted Spartan manners, and had brought up
his sons in the Spartan fashion. The suggestions he makes for
educational reform are based directly on this experience., He
would have the Athenians go back to the old education and adopt
the Spartan regime, the herd organization under officers of State,
the hard physical and dietetic discipline, the hunting and swim-
ming and drilling, the constant supervision and exhortation by
men of practical experience- The more recent additions to
Athenian education on the intellectual side he ignores altogether,
In his view, the object of education is not culture, but the making
of good men and good citizens*

In this commendation of Spartan education for Athens,
Xenophon practically gives up the Socratic identification of
virtue with knowledge, and goes back to the position of the
who two generations before had opposed the incoming